Flight controller systems for data collection

Hi all

I’m new to flight controllers and finding it a little overwhelming (so many options) so i’m hoping one of you kind people might be able to help me out. I’m doing a project for uni and needing to gather data from a plane in flight so i figured a flight controller would be the way to go since some capture logs and can stream data to a ground station. Eventually i will convert this plane into a VTOL with rotating wing tip motors so i will definatly need it then. I’d really appriciate any help in putting together a complete shopping list. Ill be needing a flight computer, gps, a way to stream data to laptop ground station, a reciever compatible with a spektrum DI6X, a pitot tube and possibly more if you think of anything.

Here’s what i’d ideally want from it:
-Gathering yaw, pitch and roll rates
-Capture airspeed with a pitot tube
-If possible capture the servo angles
-Record current draw from the motor
-Stream all data to my laptop, aswell as record the data on board as a back up
-Follow a programmed route
-Able to stabilise a plane in VTOL
-As affordable as possible, but the other features come first

Please assume all i’ve got is a spektrum DI6X that ive used for years and a ready to fly plane.

Thanks so much

I recommend getting a H743-based “WING” flight controller like the Matek H743 WING or the Holybro Kakute H743 WING. They are not the cheapest compared to less powerful FCs, but they will do an excellent job of what you want and are future-proof as well.
One of those FCs will tick the boxes for capturing rates, logging to an SD card, measuring total motor current (up to 90A)(for individual motor currents you need ESCs with telemetry → BLHeli32), capture servo outputs (you can calculate angles from there), follow a route and control VTOL.

If budget is a problem it is possible to go with a F405-based FC (still go for Matek or Holybro) and it will do what you described, but as soon as you want to do more advanced stuff, like lua scripting for example, the F405 runs out of flash.

For GPS I can recommend the Holybro F9P helical, or, as a more budget-friendly (or less budget-destroying) option, a M10N.

I can’t really help with pitot tubes (only flown multirotors so far) and with telemetry (only did very short range with an ESP32).

Also a note to telemetry/logging: onboard logging will be your primary way of capturing flight data, the telemetry link is just for live monitoring of the craft.

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Thank you, that helps so much!